Letters and emails from children and adults
Please accept this donation from my son, Gabriel, who is 8 years old and saves some of his allowance so that he may make an annual donation to the cause of his choice. He has chosen your organization for this year’s contribution. Please let him know the joy of giving by acknowledging his donation.
For Gabriel Bellowe
When I was in middle school, I sent your organization my allowance. I think it was about $.35. I put my coins in an envelope and sent it off to the whales. In turn, your organization sent me newsletters and stickers. I hated to read, but I always read your newsletter.
Now I am approaching 40 years old. Today I will embark on a journey that will undoubtedly last the rest of my life. A few friends and I are trying to start our own non-profit with the mission of mitigating water pollution that threatens some of the poorest children in North America. The scope of this task is daunting. But we are willing to try.
I am a middle school teacher myself now. I understand all too well how difficult it is to have a great purpose and yet rarely know if you are making a difference. I still have no money to send you. At least not today. But I wanted to thank you for teaching me that I am related to all things on this earth. Your organization made an impact on me that has stayed with me to this day. I have come to understand that it will take all of us, working together in whatever ways we can, to make things right so the next seven generations may live in health and in peace with our earth.
You do make a difference, perhaps in ways that you may not be aware of. If you reached a poor little kid in the middle of nowhere, then you have also reached others.
I wanted to thank you for this. You gave me something to care about and a model to follow.
In peace and thanks.
Emailed November 17, 2002
Ever since I was a child, I have overheard conversations about your organization. Since then I have done some research and discovered that your purpose was to educate the public, especially children, about marine mammals and the fragile ocean environment. I understand that you believe in education being the key to improving the environment for both people and animals.
Thank you very much for teaching people and children that it is important to take care of the environment so that everyone and everything will have a bright future.
March 25, 2004
Dear Mrs. Sidenstecker,
I wanted to take this opportunity to say Thank You for all your help!! Because of your assistance and the additional information you provided regarding Save The Whales, I received an A on my thesis. I would like to say Thank You for all your help by giving Save The Whales a small donation of $15. Wished it could be more, but I’m just a high school student with very limited funds. You should receive a check (from my mother, I don’t have a checking account of my own) sometime next week.
Again, Thank You for your assistance!
Emailed April 2, 2005
To Whom It May Concern:
Please find enclosed a cheque for £100.00 (One Hundred Pounds Sterling). I was given a sum of money when I was in the sixth grade, in 1992, as a donation from my classmates to adopt a whale. Unfortunately, through sheer forgetfulness, I forgot to give the money to Mr. Balk, our geography teacher, to post. I found a manila envelope in the back of my locker at the end of the year with some money in it. Without realizing what it was for, I kept it. I am now twelve years the wiser and feel that this debt needs to be repaid. Please kindly accept this as a token to Save The Whales from all of us in Mr. Balk’s Sixth Grade Geography Class, 1992, at the Saudi Arabian International School, Riyadh (SAIS-R) American Section.
Dr. Faizan A. Awan
Manchester, United Kingdom
April 4, 2006
I love Maris Sidenstecker. She has been my role model since I was is the 1st grade. I am now in 5th and am going to 6th. I want to do everything she has done, though when I grow up I want to be a Teacher. I love you Maris.
Shelby Twp. Michigan
Riley Lucente, age 8, made a sign with Save The Whales, a drawing he made of an orca, and a photograph of orcas. Riley displayed this sign in front of a hardware store. He also reminds everyone he sees with a balloon to hang onto it for the sake of the whales. He is a new member of Save The Whales. I couldn't be more pleased.
Emailed October 15, 2006
Samantha Sharp of Santa Cruz High School, Santa Cruz, CA started a Narwhal Appreciation and Awareness Club. The students are concerned about the continued hunting of narwhals. They raised $200 in a campaign which was contributed to Save The Whales. Thank you narwhal lovers.
Samantha Sharp, Santa Cruz High School
Santa Cruz, California
The Grade One students at Glenbrook Elementary School, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, studied the impact of humans on the environment as part of understanding their rights and responsibilities in sharing the earth’s finite resources with others. They raised funds to make a difference by holding a “Bake Sale to Save a Whale,” as well as a lemonade stand. The students also created and sold whale whistles to their families. They raised over $400 and school administration raised the sum to $404 US. With their funds, they purchased 24 Adopt A Whale kits. Thank you for your innovation and contribution.
Grade One Students, Glenbrook Elementary School
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
A ten-year old student wrote this letter to his Member of Parliament in the U.K.
Dear Mr. Richard Ottaway M.P.,
I am 10 years old, I live in Croydon and I am currently at Whyteleafe School doing a project on marine conservation. I would like to draw your attention to the accidental killing of whales courtesy of helium balloons.
I understand that they look good and are fun to watch floating off into the atmosphere, but the point is that they drop down as LITTER. The majority of it comes down into the sea.
When the balloons and litter float around in the sea the marine animals innocently mistake them for food such as jellyfish and squid. After the animals have attempted to eat the balloon or litter they choke on it or the litter clogs their breathing or food pipes (e.g., on New Jersey Beach a young sperm whale was found with a balloon lodged in its stomach preventing the passage of food). A leatherback turtle (which is an endangered species) starved to death because a latex balloon halted the passage of food to its stomach. The only thing found in its intestines in a post mortem was three feet of nylon string attached to the balloon.
These are only two graphic examples of the thousands of marine animals killed every year by balloons.
There are lots of alternatives to helium balloons outdoors, such as kites, flowers, windsocks and even tethered balloons. For competitions, instead of releasing balloons outside and seeing how far they go you could release them indoors and see which one drops last, or release 5-15 balloons to the ceiling and take it in turns to pull them down until the winning ticket is found.
What I would like to happen is people to be aware of their actions. I would like it to become law that balloons are only sold with a bold warning explaining exactly what the consequences are.
You may think that this issue does not affect people in the Croydon area, but on my fifth birthday I let off some balloons for my birthday party at home. One of these balloons travelled all the way to France but we didn’t hear back from the others, so it is possible that they landed in the sea.
If you could help me raise awareness issues and reduce the littering of our oceans, I would be very grateful.
I hope I have made my point to you.
Following is his response from Richard Ottaway, M.P., in part:
..."I believe that protecting our marine environment and costal waters is of primary importance and as such we need a Marine Bill. At present less than 1% of our costal waters are fully protected.
Although the Government has given a commitment to legislate, it is not yet clear when the Bill will be formally introduced to Parliament. I will, therefore, be pressing the Government to determine when this is likely to occur. I believe that, in order for the Bill to be effective, we need an overarching approach assembling all peicemeal legislation together. The Marine Bill needs to offer guidelines and codes of practice to all areas associated with the marine environment. This would include planning, fisheries, industrial companies and environmental organisations.
I would like to reassure you that the Conservative Party is fully committed to protecting our precious marine environments, and we will continue to press the Government on this issue. I have passed your comments on to Ben Bradshaw MP, Minister of State (Local Environment, Marine and Animal Welfare) and as soon as I receive a response I will be in touch."
Letter Writing Campaign
Whaling – A View from Norway
by David Welsh, NOAH - for animal rights
A Seafaring People
If there’s one thing that defines Norwegian identity more than anything, it’s probably the sea. From the Viking longships of a thousand years ago that brought the first Europeans to the American continent, to the hardy polar explorers of the nineteenth century, and Thor Heyerdahl’s voyage across the Pacific on the Kon Tiki in the 1950s, seafaring is part of how Norwegians define themselves as a people and a nation. In Norway’s second largest city – Bergen, on the west coast – there’s a well-known monument to these seafaring traditions. In the heart of the city, by the harbor that has been in continuous use for a thousand years, this monument depicts Viking warriors, polar explorers, fisherman and whalers.
For decades, the Norwegian government has brushed aside international objections to the whaling industry. They reject out of hand arguments about conservation and animal welfare, and simply insist that whaling is a perfectly sustainable method of harvesting the natural resources of the oceans, and that all the whales die instantly and without suffering. Furthermore, they claim, whales are responsible for the declining fish stocks in Norwegian waters.
Tell a lie often enough, it is said, and it becomes the truth. Despite the fact that the Norwegian government’s statements on whaling are contradicted even by their own scientists, they have been repeated so often that many ordinary Norwegians simply accept them unquestioningly. Whaling has also become something of a symbol of sovereignty for some Norwegians. Norway lost its independence in 1397, and didn’t get it back until 1905. Whilst Norway is in many ways a self-confident, modern European democracy, it’s still somewhat sensitive to feeling that it’s being pushed around by other countries. In some ways, the international pressure on Norway to abandon whaling has turned whaling into a symbol of Norwegian independence and identity, and in some quarters produced a bloody-minded determination to defend whaling at all costs, whatever the scientific and economic arguments.
A Growing Opposition
But fortunately, not all Norwegians see things in this way. NOAH - for animal rights is Norway’s largest animal rights organization, and was one of the first voices in Norway to speak out against whaling. NOAH was founded in 1989, at a time when even animal welfare and environmental groups in Norway supported whaling. The campaign was not received positively – to be opposed to whaling was almost sacrilegious, unpatriotic even. But things, thankfully, have begun to change. Even ten years ago, anti-whaling activists distributing information on the street would be fortunate to meet even one or two people who agreed with their message. In the last few years though, a growing number of people have been responding positively to NOAH’s message. The opposition is beginning to gather pace, and other Norwegian animal welfare and environmental groups are starting to become more critical to whaling.
How You Can Help
NOAH is currently trying to raise funds to employ an Anti-Whaling Campaign Coordinator, someone who can engage actively with the media, the scientific community and politicians in Norway to further the anti-whaling cause. We are optimistic about the prospects of further turning public opinion against the whaling industry, and getting politicians to question the substantial amount of taxpayers’ money that goes into subsidizing it. As Norway isn’t the easiest place in the world to raise money to campaign against whaling, we are hoping that those who oppose whaling in countries around the world will be able to donate to help us step up our campaign. If you visit our website www.dyrsrettigheter.no you can donate by PayPal. Simply mark your donation “Whaling.” If you would like more information on NOAH’s anti-whaling campaign, firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to encourage the Norwegian government to abandon its support for the whaling industry, you can contact the embassy at the following address:
Royal Norwegian Embassy
2720 34th Street NW
Washington, DC 20008